March 27, 2023

AAP contributing writer

SAN FRANCISCO (Aug. 11, 2020) — The Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association recently announced its 2020 winners for the speculative poems of the year.
Jessica J. Horowitz won the 2020 Rhysling in the Short Poem category for the poem “Taking, Keeping.”  The poem appeared in Apparition Lit 5 in 2019.
Born in Korea, Horowitz now writes speculative fiction and poetry in New England, where it’s a balance of aversion to cold and the inability to live anywhere without snow. Horowitz’ previous works can be found at Flash Fiction Online, Fireside, DSF, Apparition Lit. and others. Horowitz also blogs infrequently at and has slightly more frequent feelings and opinions on Twitter @transientj.
In the Long Poem category, Rebecca Buchanan won with “Heliobacterium
daphnephilum” which appeared in Star*Line 42.3. Buchanan is the editor of the Pagan literary ezine Eternal Haunted Summer, and a regular contributor to evOke: witchcraft*paganism*lifestyle. Her work has appeared in Abyss & Apex, Cliterature, Corvid Queen, Eye to the Telescope, Mirror Dance, Silver Blade, and Star*Line, among other venues.
Additional winners included Caroline Mao who received second place in the Short Poem category for “when my father reprograms my mother {”.
Theodora Goss took second place in the Long Poem category for “The
Cinder Girl Burns Brightly.”
Third places had ties in both categories. The Short Poem winners in 2020 were Sandra J. Lindow for “Creation: Dark Matter Dating App” and Tyler Hagemann for “The Day the Animals Turned to Sand.”
In the Long Poem category, Kyla Lee Ward was recognized for “The Macabre Modern” and Michael H. Payne for “Ode to the Artistic Temperament.”
Further details about this year’s winners can be found at
Since 1978, the Rhysling Awards have been an annual award given for the best science fiction, fantasy, or horror poem of the year. The Rhyslings are named for a character in a science fiction story: the blind poet Rhysling, in Robert A. Heinlein’s short story “The Green Hills of Earth.”
The award is given in two categories: “Best Long Poem,” for works of 50 or more lines, and “Best Short Poem”, for works of 49 or fewer lines. The nominees for each year’s Rhysling Awards are chosen by the international membership of the Science Fiction Poetry Association (SFPA) which promotes the creation and reading of speculative poetry, a genre of verse that incorporates elements of science fiction, fantasy, horror, and other genres. You can visit them online at

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